Last week during his annual State of the Commonwealth Address, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick outlined to lawmakers the key points of his proposed $34.8 billion FY2014 budget. The common theme of burying Bay State residents with numerous tax increases radiated throughout the speech.

The tax hikes Gov. Patrick proposed in this year’s budget include increasing the individual income tax from its current rate of 5.25% to 6.25%. This proposed income tax hike would be the biggest increase Massachusetts residents have seen in twenty one years. Patrick’s budget also extends the nickel deposit on bottled beverages to include bottled water and sports drinks, and increases the state’s tax on cigarettes to $3.51 per pack. 

What Gov. Patrick fails to address in his speech is how his budget will raise taxes on the more than half a million small businesses in the Commonwealth that file their income taxes as individuals, significantly diminishing their job-creating capacity. The same small businesses that kept the struggling economy afloat during the recession would be rewarded with tax increases if the legislature enacts the Governor’s proposal.

ATR encourages Massachusetts legislators to reject Gov. Patrick’s efforts to bring Obama’s tax-and-spend policies, which have yielded economic contraction and rising unemployment nationally, to the Bay State.